Sleep disorders

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Popular characters such as Sleeping Beauty illustrate our enduring interest in tales of people who sleep continuously or cannot stay awake. Sofi/flickr

The big sleep: science is waking up to the curious story of narcolepsy

Perhaps because we all need sleep, we have an enduring interest in sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, which causes a constant irrepressible need for sleep.
Limiting screen time before bedtime is beneficial for sleep. shutterstock

Why screen time before bed is bad for children

Screen time – by way of watching television or using computers, mobile phones and other electronic mobile devices – may be having a large and negative impact on children’s sleep.
Time spent checking the clock when you can’t sleep may be feeding your insomnia. bark/Flickr

Explainer: what is insomnia and what can you do about it?

We all have a poor night’s sleep from time to time: those nights when you lie awake for hours trying desperately to go to sleep but can’t stop worrying about tomorrow. Or when you repeatedly wake up throughout…
The best way to keep your hand off the snooze button is to have a regular sleep schedule every day of the week. Bethan/Flickr

Morning haze: why it’s time to stop hitting the snooze button

It’s 6.30am and after a long holiday break, your alarm clock is insistently telling you it’s time to get out of bed. For many people – me included – the automatic reaction is to hit the snooze button…
Staying awake longer increases opportunity for snacking, even when full, the study found.

How sleepless nights can lead to weight gain

People who sleep five hours or less a night are more likely to snack after dinner and gain more weight than those who get…
The dreams of people with PTSD tend to be accompanied by bodily movement. piXo

Acting out the nightmares of post-traumatic stress disorder

You can run a marathon, fly over foreign lands, fight to the death with a two-headed dragon … all while you lie peacefully in your bed. This is the beauty of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where most…
The researchers did not say insomnia causes heart failure, but found an increased risk of heart failure among insomniacs.

Study links insomnia with increased heart failure risk

People with three insomnia symptoms have a three-fold higher risk of heart failure than people with no insomnia, a large…
Controlled crying is when parents respond to their infant’s cries and gently comfort them, then return at increasing time intervals. Flickr/tea...

Monday’s medical myth: controlled crying damages babies' brains

In my clinical work with pregnant and postnatal mums experiencing anxiety and mood disorders, few issues are reported as consistently as sleep deprivation. Parents who spend the first year of their child’s…
Good news for those who like a weekend sleep-in: lost sleep can be recovered. Image from

Explainer: can you pay off your ‘sleep debt’?

Ever have those moments on weekends or public holidays when you wake at your usual time, then realise there’s no pressing need to get up? If you go back for another couple of hours of shut-eye and use…
The majority of people who have obstructive sleep apnoea are unaware they have the disorder. Image from

Explainer: what is obstructive sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common sleep-related breathing disorder, where the upper airway repeatedly collapses during sleep. During an obstructive breathing event, someone with OSA continues…

Snoring itself does not increase death risk

Snoring itself, without the more serious sleep apnea disorder, does not increase mortality or cardiovascular disease. A world-first…
Sleeping pills aren’t the answer to sleep on demand. Drake Guan

Explainer: insomnia, pills and the pursuit of sleep

Insomnia is far from a modern concept, with sleep remedies such as opioids, chamomile and valerian root recorded in the earliest existing medical writings. The word insomnia itself dates back to at least…
Between 10% and 45% of children have one or more sleep problems. Jack French

Explainer: childhood sleep disorders

Any parent will tell you the meaning of the saying “slept like a baby” is completely opposite to reality. Thankfully, many parents succeed in establishing a routine to their baby’s initial erratic sleep…

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